John Creasey Analysis


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

John Creasey is notable as the most prolific writer of mystery stories in the history of the genre. Changing from pen name to pen name and from sleuth to sleuth, Creasey mass-produced as many as two novels a week. At his death, he was credited with more than 550 crime novels, which had sold sixty million copies in twenty-six languages. Despite his great commercial success, Creasey was not highly ranked by critics, who pointed out that no matter how clever his plot outlines might be, his characters too often were pasteboard creations rather than psychologically interesting human beings, his situations geared to fast action rather than to the development of atmosphere that characterizes the best mystery novels. Sensitive to such criticisms, in some of his novels Creasey took time for fuller development of character; the Gideon series, written under the pseudonym J. J. Marric, ranks with the best of the genre.


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Bird, Tom. “John Creasey Remembered.” Short Stories Magazine 1 (July, 1981): 9-12. Tribute to Creasey emphasizing his short fiction and its influence on the mystery and detective genre.

Harvey, Deryk. “The Best of John Creasey.” The Armchair Detective 7 (November, 1973): 42-43. Checklist selecting the very best examples of Creasey’s work from throughout his prolific career.

Roth, Marty. Foul and Fair Play: Reading Genre in Classic Detective Fiction. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995. A post-structuralist analysis of the conventions of mystery and detective fiction. Examines 138 short stories and works from the 1840’s to the 1960’s. Briefly mentions Creasey and helps the reader place him in the broader context of the genre.

Rzepka, Charles J. Detective Fiction. Malden, Mass.: Polity, 2005. Overview of detective fiction written in English, placing Creasey’s many works in context. Bibliographic references and index.

Scaggs, John. Crime Fiction. New York: Routledge, 2005. Contains an essay on hard-boiled fiction that mentions Creasey and provides background for understanding the writer.